Health News

Sacred Heart has 2 Facilitators trained to help you with Advance Care Planning.
Rita Wotzka, RN and Marella Larson, RN.
Call the parish office at 251-8115 to set up an apt. with one of them.

What does a facilitator do? Advance care planning facilitators…
• meet with individuals and families to explain various end-of-life treatment options and interpret often-intimidating medical terms,
• guide the conversation to important topics that may be difficult to discuss,
• provide emotional support, making sure the experience is comfortable and positive for everyone involved,
• play an important role in preparing the individual’s chosen healthcare agent,
• provide information and resources, as needed,
• assist in the completion of a health care directive, the document that outlines the health care values and desires for treatment expressed during the conversation,

What Is Light The Legacy?
Light The Legacy is a community-based organization dedicated to improving end-of-life care in Central Minnesota. We hope to inspire ongoing advance care planning conversations—among family members and friends, between patients and health care providers, and in the community at large—to encourage the people of central Minnesota to make informed health care decisions and to implement programs that facilitate patient- and family-centered end-of-life care.
To make things as easy as possible, you can download and begin working on your own health care directive before the event. We recommend completing the long form, which is a more comprehensive plan. However there is also a short form that works well for some groups who choose not to complete the long form. Both forms are available on our website. Honoring Choices has prepared a guide explaining the short form you can check out as well.

Long Form:

Short Form:

People’s stories about Advance Care Planning:

Other Resources:

Minnesota Catholic Health Care Directive Approved by Catholic Bishops of MN on September 21, 2011:
The Diocese of Saint Cloud Consultant for Health Care Ethics: The position of Consultant for Healthcare Ethics is currently staffed by Father Thomas Knoblach, Ph.D. Father Knoblach’s web site at the Diocese of Saint Cloud and contact info::
Fr. Tom Knoblach
Church of the Holy Spirit
2405 Walden Way
St. Cloud MN 56301
Fr. Knoblach has the following information on the Diocese of Saint Cloud web site:
A Brief Ethical Primer on Medical Decisions Regarding Life-Sustaining Treatments (PDF)
A Brief Ethical Primer on Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration (PDF)
“On the CDF’s Responses Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration”(PDF)

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with mental illness and their families. Listed are local Support groups: Sartell, 6:30 p.m., meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at Unity Spiritual Center, 931 5th Ave. N. Contact Chuck at 320-290-7713. St. Cloud 7:00-8:30 p.m., meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday, at Calvary Community Church, 1200 Roosevelt Road. contact Mike at 320-259-7101 or 320-492-2024. For information on many other classes and offerings, such as Hope For Recovery Workshops, and Family-to-Family Education Classes and more: 1-888-626-4435),,‎.

Child Loss Grief Support Group
Living Waters Lutheran Church Sauk Rapids
This is a support group for parents who have lost a child. This is open to Living Waters members and non-members.

Meeting times:
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 6pm

For more information:
Contact LWLC Parish Nurse, Carolyn Neubauer
(320) 251-4075


Free mammograms available through Minnesota Department of Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Sage Screening Program provides year-round, free breast and cervical cancer screenings to uninsured and underinsured women age 40 years and older. This year, it is estimated that 3,520 Minnesotan women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 640 Minnesota women will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Annual mammography has been reported to reduce breast cancer deaths in women age 40 and older by detecting the disease in its earliest stages when it is most easily treated. Women seeking eligibility information about the free mammography program - or women who want to make an appointment for a free mammogram - should call Sage at 1-888-643-2584. Women new to Sage are also eligible to receive $10 for getting screened through the program. Please share this with anyone you know who could use.

Free "File of Life"

More than 90% of medical emergency calls are treated without knowledge of the patients' medical history. The File of Life card enables Fire/Police/EMS personnel to obtain a quick and accurate medical history when a patient is unable to offer one. The card also eliminates the risk of a patient forgetting to mention something important. Data show that many older people generally take multiple medications and typically have existing medical conditions. Data also show that during medical emergencies, older victims are often confused and in some cases, completely unable to communicate. The type of information needed by emergency responders is often unavailable in these situations. When medications and/or medical conditions are unknown, it is extremely difficult to treat an older victim in an emergency. One inexpensive solution is the “File of Life” , a refrigerator magnet folder containing vital medical information about the elderly resident. A decal affixed to the main entry door alerts law enforcement and medical personnel to the existence of a “File of Life” during a medical emergency, allowing information on medications and medical conditions to be accessed immediately by emergency responders. Older adults can call the Senior LinkAge at 1-800-333-2433 to request one free.


May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. My Life Check, a program from the American Heart Association which gives information on understanding and managing high blood pressure can be found on the following link:

One in Three Americans does not know they have high BP. Have your BP checked at least annually, and more often if elevated, at Dr's office or with BP cuff at home.